The All China Leather Exhibition (ACLE) has reached a milestone yesterday when it opened at the New International Expo Centre, in Shanghai. Launched in Beijing in 1998 as a business platform for China’s leather industry, the exhibition entered its 16th year. The event is not only important for what it celebrates, it is also an opportunity to re-assert ACLE’s position as China’s largest and leading leather event.
Held simultaneously with CIFF and Moda Shanghai, the three concurrent exhibitions adequately complement each other and are jointly organised by APLF and the China Leather Industry Association (CLIA). The fairs are being held from September 4 to 6 and attracted over 10,000 buyers on the first day (a 16% increase over last year).
16 years and growing… Over the last 16 years the three fairs have developed at a steady pace but growth over last year was particularly significant. They have overall grown by approximately 10 % compared to 2012 both in terms of size and number of exhibitors, sprawling over 8 halls compared to 7 last year.
At a press conference held yesterday, Michael Duck, director of APLF Limited reminded the audience of the importance of the Chinese leather industry both as an importer and a global supplier. He said China was in the process of shifting from being solely a production base to being a fashion and potentially a trend setter. “We are still at an early stage of the process but I believe Chinese designed products will be increasingly accepted by both Chinese and international consumers”, he commented. Thanks to growing disposable income and to the emergence of internet shopping, China’s domestic market is expanding too, increasing considerably the global demand for leather products.
Echoing Mr Duck, Mr Su Chao Ying, Chairman of China Leather Industry Association, confirmed China’s domestic market expansion and said he expected more market regulation in the near future, especially in the area of e-commerce.
Generally speaking, while figures of annual sales revenue, imports, exports and output are rising, growth rate of the industry is stabilising.
The main concern of the industry is the alarming limited supply of raw material resources and the resulting increase in their price.
Hence, many exhibitors showcase new smart solutions to optimise the usage of raw material. The chemical company BASF’s Densodrin HP, for instance, enables just that while reducing the environmental footprint of the tanneries.
Thanks to its Antara integrated software system specifically addressed to tanneries, first time ACLE exhibitor, Brazilian SystemHaus, enables tanneries to improve their efficiency, from scheduling to the traceability of the products while Tannery of the Year 2013, PrimeAsia Smart Engineered Leathers are packed with innovative features which are fashion oriented yet, affordable for consumers.
Like every year, the organisers have put together a comprehensive programme of diverse events, including a set of seminars designed to inform and educate all participants. It was kicked off with a presentation of the European REACh standards, by the French group Centre Technique du Cuir (CTC), and was followed by a workshop addressed to designers about the various characteristics and properties of leather and how to use cost effectively.
While Turkey is still by far the most represented country in terms of number of exhibitors, other countries are catching up. This year, the Council for Leather Exports (CLE) and the Indian Leather Garments Association (ILGA) brought a delegation of 28 exporters. Talking on the second day of the exhibition, the association’s president, Moti Lal Sethi said the delegation’s initial goal of meeting international buyers has been fulfilled. “Our second goal is to become familiar with the Chinese market and to explore business possibilities such as outsourcing”, he said. “I am hopeful that the collaboration between the Chinese and the Indian leather industries will gain momentum over the coming year”, he added.
Under such good omens, the All China Leather Exhibition (ACLE) and its sister fairs China International Footwear Fair and Moda Shanghai will take place next year at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre, from September 3 to 5, 2014.